Arden Arapyan was born in Montreal, Canada, into a family of Armenian descent. Throughout his life, Arden was exposed to many drastically varying styles of music. From a young age, he was experimenting with different styles and instruments, such as keyboard, guitar and bass, and soon began his formal classical training on the piano. While merely in his early teenage years, Arden was already working as a musician for hire in a number of different contexts.
After having changed his specialization to jazz, Arden graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in “Jazz Performance” (Interprétation Jazz) from the prestigious music faculty of the University of Montréal, where he studied piano with Luc Beaugrand and Pierre Leduc and was the pianist of the University’s big band, under the direction of Ron DiLauro. He also holds a degree in “Music”, as well as an additional degree in “Professional Music and Song Techniques” from Vanier College, where he studied jazz piano with Eric Harding, as well as composition and arranging with Christopher Smith.
Arden continues to perform regularly with many artists and groups of contrasting styles, playing piano and keyboards in jazz ensembles and salsa orchestras such as the Montreal Jazz Big Band, La Gran Orquesta Cubana de Montreal, Sandra and the Latin Groove, Quintero, the Lo-Fi Octet, the Moonlight Girls and that of the celebrated and prolific Cuban multi-instrumentalist singer, producer and bandleader Jesús Alejandro “El Niño” Pérez, among others, and has had the privilege to perform, both as pianist and guitarist, with a wide range of musicians such as Canadian jazz legends Michel Donato and Oliver Jones, world-class drummers and percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Mike Mangini (Dream Theater), Dennis Chambers, Karl Perazzo and Raul Rekow (Santana), Latin-American superstars of salsa music such as Eddie Santiago and Tony Vega, a former singer of the world-renowned percussionist and composer Tito Puente, as well as legendary pioneers of Armenian popular music such as Paul Baghdadlian, Harout Pamboukjian, Adiss Harmandian and Marten Yorgantz. Thanks to this experience, Arden’s musical vocabulary has developed with a seamless combination of influences from Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern to North-to-South American and Caribbean music, from classical to jazz. His craft is imbued with great authenticity of drastically contrasting cultures, particularly from his ancestral Armenia, as well as Afro-Cuban, European, Arabian and African-American music.
In 2008, Arden Arapyan was awarded the Grand Prix Jazz GM at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, as well as first prize in the Propulsion Jazz competition in 2007, on the Planète Jazz radio station. In 2011, Arden produced and released his debut album, entitled “Vahak”. He has also collaborated as keyboardist and bassist with the band “Roads”, with whom he recorded the album “Remember Today”, produced by Scott Moffatt, in 2010, and with “Tegou”, who was the opening act for Marc Anthony at his concert at the Olympic Stadium in 2012. In 2015, he composed and performed entirely original music for the theatrical production of Molière’s “The Imaginary Invalid” by the Hay Pem Theatre Troupe. In 2016, Arden Arapyan was entrusted with the production of several tracks on Paul Baghdadlian’s posthumous album “Hishadagner” due for release in 2017. On this album, he is credited as producer, arranger, pianist, keyboardist, guitarist and bassist; a testament to the multiple talents of this accomplished artist.
His newest endeavour is a project joining the forces of his jazz quartet and sensational operatic soprano Sasha Djihanian to perform pieces from the traditional Armenian, classical, operatic, and jazz repertoires in fresh and unique ways.
Arden Arapyan currently works at the University of Montreal, teaching piano, coaching ensembles, and is in charge of the Introduction to Jazz & Improvisation workshop. In 2015, he founded and launched the ArtDen Music Workshop. He continues his work as a performer, recording artist, composer and music teacher.